Throughout the offseason, we've heard from Johns Elway and Fox that the Broncos plan to have Nate Irving, Steven Johnson, and Stewart Bradley compete for the starting middle linebacker job.
As always, actions speak louder than words.
So does Denver's decision not to draft an inside linebacker (they instead signed CU's Doug Rippy and BYU's Uona Kaveinga as undrafted rookies) mean they're happy with what they've got?
With the 173rd pick in the 2013 Draft, the Broncos took Virginia Tech tackle Vinston Painter. Three picks later, the Texans took tackle David Quessenberry. Both players have positional flexibility and might play guard in the NFL. Each was converted from another position - Painter from defensive tackle, and Quessenberry from tight end.
I’ve read in a couple of articles the idea that Painter only has a single year of offensive line work to point to, but it’s not quite true. To clarify how much experience Painter has there, consider this:
Painter, who is the cousin of Virginia Tech receiver Randall Dunn, earned first-team All-Tidewater and first-team All-Eastern District honors on the offensive line as both a junior and senior at Maury High. He was also was second-team all-district as a defensive tackle. Painter actually began his Virginia Tech career at defensive tackle, as he worked there during the fall of his redshirt season (2009), before he moved to offensive tackle for spring practice.
Doc Ponderosa and I were talking about the two known instances in Denver’s draft where a medical issue came into play last week - those of Eddie Lacy and Quanterus Smith. I thought I’d share with you what came up.
Sunday brought word that the Steelers and several other teams, including potentially the Broncos, passed on the Alabama running back due to concerns regarding a fused toe.
Doc P has found the fusion of the great toe to be a variable problem, which matches my own experience. Some people are greatly hampered by it, while others seem to handle it fairly well. Over time, though, the changes in balance created by it can hinder a player and can create or contribute to other injuries. Even if it’s not bothersome in itself, the changes in posture, gait, and stride that result from it are cumulative; a lot of people eventually develop low back, knee, and/or ankle issues as a result.
In the spring of 2007, University of Iowa junior Shonn Greene lost his academic eligibility and football scholarship. Uncertain of his life’s direction, he left school, enrolled in Kirkwood Community College (which doesn’t even have a football team) and worked just down the road from the University of Iowa at a furniture store, moving crates and tables, mattresses, beds and dressers.
That experience lasted until 2008, when he was able to return to college as a junior. He even missed spring football practice that year, but in the fall, he was back on the field with a very different attitude.
Up to that point, he’d had a couple of poor years as a running back, with just 37 carries for 173 yards his freshman year. As a sophomore, he still produced only 32 carries for 205 yards and one score. The realities of getting an hourly paycheck for long days of work, and nights of study, with the attendant backaches from moving furniture, provided a powerful force in his life. He knew things had to change.
Happy Tuesday, friends. I’ve had a few days to digest the 2013 Draft, and I have some thoughts on the class of players that the Broncos took. It’s not going to be like a grading exercise, or anything like that, because you can get that crap around the internet from any fool who has a keyboard, just like you can get mock drafts. For the most part, those grading exercises are worth about as much as the mocks are.
What we should be concerned with is how this group of players fits into this roster. The time to be worried about reaches and relative draft value is over; it doesn’t matter if you think that some other player who was picked in the fourth round was better than the guy the Broncos took in the third. Sunk costs are irrelevant to the team’s affairs and decisions of today. People who dwell on them are morons.
What is relevant is how these players can help the team, both now and in the future. That’s the topic of today’s article – how does it all fit together?
In the murky hours following the completion of the draft on Saturday, it was reported that Denver had signed 16 undrafted rookies. But when the dust settled, there were only 15 signees.
Turns out there was a 16th player added - it just took a couple of days to get there. According to Mike Klis, the team has agreed with former BYU nose tackle Romney Fuga, a 6-2, 320-pounder from Huntington Beach.
|Ryan Katz||QB||San Diego State||Source, Stats, DS||Oregon State transfer|
|John Youboty||DE||Temple||Source, Stats, CBS, DS||2nd Team All-Big East|
|Lerentee McCray||LB||Florida||Source, Stats, NFL, CBS, DS, NFP|
|Ryan Doerr||P||Kansas State||Source, Stats, DS|
|Ross Rasner||S||Arkansas||Source, Stats, DS|
|Kemonte' Bateman||WR||New Mexico State||Source, Stats|
|Uona Kaveinga||LB||BYU||Source, Stats, NFL, DS||USC transfer|
|Manase Foketi||G||West Texas A&M||Source, NFL, CBS, DS||KSU transfer|
|Lamaar Thomas||WR||New Mexico||Source, Stats, DS||Ohio State transfer, ran track|
|C.J. Anderson||RB||California||Source, Stats, NFL, DS|
|Aaron Hester||CB||UCLA||Source, Stats, NFL, CBS, DS|
|Quincy McDuffie||WR||Central Florida||Source, Stats, DS||Led nation in KR avg|
|Romney Fuga||DT||BYU||Source, Stats, DS, IAOFM|
|Damien Holmes||LB||UCLA||Source, Stats, DS, IAOFM|
|Lanston Tanyi||DE||CSU||Source, Stats, DS, IAOFM||Grad transfer from App. St.|
No, Chris Mortensen, Zac Dysert is not like John Elway. Let's just calm the hell down.
Zac Dysert is a seventh-round draft pick for a reason. Sure, the kid has a good arm and a quick release. Sure, he's mobile and throws well on the run. I'll even grant you that Dysert should have been drafted two or three rounds earlier. In fact, the Broncos got a lot of value right here.
But he's got a long way to go before he's reading pro defenses and playing from under center. Hell, he's still got to go through Brock Osweiler.
With their final pick in the 2013 Draft, the Broncos got themselves a new third-string quarterback, and perhaps a future backup for Brock Osweiler.
Miami of Ohio QB Zac Dysert visited Dove Valley earlier in the month, and now he'll be returning to pick up a jersey and eventually sign a contract.
The 6-3, 231-lb. passer was redshirted in 2008 before becoming a four-year starter for the Redhawks.
With their second fifth-round pick (their own), the Broncos took Georgia wide receiver Tavarres King at #161 overall.
King led all Bulldogs receivers last season across the board, with his 42 receptions, 950 yards, 22.6 per-catch average, and nine touchdowns.
The 6-0, 189-lb. receiver, who will turn 23 in July, ran a 4.47-second forty at the national combine. His 2,602 career receiving yards rank fourth in Georgia history, while his 21 receiving touchdowns are third all-time.